Xia Yu (actor)

Xia Yu (Chinese: 夏雨; pinyin: Xià Yǔ, born 28 October 1976) is a Chinese actor.[1]He was rocketed to international stardom after he won the Best Actor award from the Venice Film Festival 1994 for his role in film In the Heat of the Sun and became the youngest actor to win that award in the history of the festival when he was 18 years old.

Xia Yu
Born (1976-10-28) 28 October 1976
Alma materCentral Academy of Drama
Years active1994–present
AgentXia Yu Studio
Yuan Quan (m. 2009)
Children1 daughter (b. 2010)
AwardsVolpi Cup for Best Actor
1994 In the Heat of the SunGolden Horse AwardsBest Actor
1994 In the Heat of the Sun

Chinese name


Xia Yu was born on 28 October 1976 in Qingdao, Shandong Province. His father was once an actor and then became a painter.[2]

Xia was initially discovered by Jiang Wen who cast him in his semi-autobiographical film In the Heat of the Sun (1994). Despite being chosen partly because of his facial resemblance to a young Jiang, Xia's performance as a spirited and moving performance of a renegade youth in the film conquered audiences.[2] He was rocketed to international stardom after he won the Best Actor award from the Venice Film Festival (the youngest actor to win that award in the history of the festival), Singapore International Film Festival and Golden Horse Awards.[3]

Xia wanted to study drama after his first film, he was accepted into the Central Academy of Drama. After completing his studies there, Xia remained an active force in Chinese cinema as well as television, appearing in many films and television series.[3][2] Xia's second film Shadow Magic demonstrated his talent as an actor and earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Tokyo International Film Festival.[4] His earlier film credits also includes Roots and Branches (2001) and Where Have All the Flowers Gone (2002).[5] Xia's subsequent films, The Law of Romance (2003) won him a Golden Rooster Award for Best Actor and Waiting Alone (2005) earned him Best Actor at the Beijing College Student Film Festival.[3] With five best actor titles at international film festivals, Xia Yu has been named one of the top 4 hottest young actors in China.[6]

Like many of today′s actors in China, Xia Yu also has an extensive TV career, appearing on such shows as Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito, Classical Romance and Sky Lovers. Most of Xia′s TV roles have been secondary ones until he was cast to star in The Ugliest In the World, where he played Liu Baoshan, a genius of the Qing Dynasty who gave up the opportunity to become an official in order to become a clown.[5]

Aside from local productions, Xia has also starred in two Hollywood films; China: The Panda Adventure (2001) and The Painted Veil (2006).[7] Xia also starred alongside Shilpa Shetty in the Indian-Chinese film The Desire (2010).[8] In 2016, he took on the role of Wong Jack Man in the Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon, produced by American filmmaker George Nolfi.[9]

Xia reunited with Waiting Alone director Dayyan Eng in fantasy comedy film Wished, which became one of the highest-grossing domestic titles for the summer season.[10][11]

In 2019, it was announced that Xia will play Shen Gongbao in the upcoming fantasy film series Fengshen Trilogy directed by Wuershan. The film is based on the novel Investiture of the Gods.[12]

Personal life

Xia Yu married actress Yuan Quan in 2009, a decade after their first date as students in Central Academy of Drama.[13] They have appeared in 4 films together: The Law of Romance (2003), Waiting Alone (2004), Shanghai Rumba (2006) and Breakup Buddies (2014). Their daughter was born on 31 March 2010.[14]

Xia is an avid skateboarder. He fell in love with skateboarding after watching it in Gleaming the Cube, a popular movie when he was young. He finds time to board whenever he is between sets shooting a film. In 2003, Xia began to ski and loved it. In 2006, Xia won the championship of a snowboarding game in amateur group in Lucerne, Switzerland.



YearEnglish titleChinese titleRoleNotes
1994In the Heat of the Sun阳光灿烂的日子Ma Xiaojun[15]
2000Shadow Magic西洋镜Liu Jinglun[16]
2001Roots and Branches我的兄弟姐妹Qi Tian[17]
2001China: The Panda AdventureN/AQuentin Young
2002Where Have All the Flowers Gone那时花开Gao An[18]
2003Cala, My Dog!卡拉是条狗Police[19]
2003The Law of Romance警察有约Zhao Xingan
2004My Early Days in France我的法兰西岁月Xiao San[20]
2004Electric Shadows电影往事Mao Dabing[21]
2004Bamboo Shoot自娱自乐Wang Shengli[22]
2004Waiting Alone独自等待Chen Wen[23]
2005Dragon Squad猛龙Luo Zaijun[24]
2006Shanghai Rumba上海伦巴Ah Chuan[25]
2006Sun Plant太阳花BoyShort film
2006The Painted Veil面纱Wu Lien
2007Getting Home落叶归根Bei Baorong[26]
2007江北好人Zhang Weiyang[27]
2007Dangerous Games棒子老虎鸡Li Dachun[28]
2009Tiny Dust, True Love寻找微尘ReporterCameo [29]
2010Life of Sentime感情生活Xiao Ke[30]
2010Wind Blast西风烈Zhang Ning[31]
2010The DesireN/AJai Leang
2012Double Trouble宝岛双雄Ocean[32]
2012The Sino-Japanese War at Sea 1894一八九四·甲午大海战Itō Sukeyuki[33]
2013Love Deposit爱情银行He Muyang[34]
2013Christmas Rose圣诞玫瑰Xue Zhaowen[35]
2014Breakup Buddies心花路放Kang Xiaoyu's exCameo
2015Crazy New Year's Eve一路惊喜Zhong Wei[36]
2015Romance Out of the Blue浪漫天降Lin Zida[37]
2015Mojin: The Lost Legend鬼吹灯之寻龙诀Big Gold Tooth[38]
2016Papa洛杉矶捣蛋计划Huang Guolun[39]
2016Birth of the DragonN/AWong Jack Man[40]
2017Wished反转人生Ma Fendou
2018Goddesses in the Flames of War那些女人Cameo[41]
2019Love Song to the Days Forgone东北往事之二十年Mei San[42]
2019The Coldest City红尘1945[43]
2020Fengshen Trilogy封神三部曲Shen Gongbao

Television series

YearEnglish titleChinese titleRoleNotes
1994Temporary Family临时家庭Cameo
1998Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito康熙微服私访记Wo Laiye
2001The Best Clown Under Heaven天下第一丑Liu Gansan[44]
2001Buddha Jumps佛跳墙Zhao Baochu[45]
2002Sky Lovers天空下的缘分Xia Sanlang
2002You Light Up My Life点燃我生命的是你Huo Ran
2003 Return of Judge Bao I包公出巡之龙凤肚兜Gao Tianyou
2004The Thundering Sword残剑震江湖Wang Xiaohu
2004Classical Romance经典爱情Chen Guang[46]
2004Bring Your Smile Along啼笑因缘Lu Yizhi[47]
2005The Vinegar Tribe醋溜族Xiao Long[48]
2005Falling in Love with a Single-Eyelid Guy爱上单眼皮男生Han Zitong[49]
2006Waves Washing the Sand浪淘沙Ouyang Tong[50]
2006The Identity of Friend以朋友的名义Luo Jie[51]
2006Secret History of Kangxi康熙秘史Kangxi[52]
2007Justice Department青天衙门Rui De[53]
2008Firewall 5788防火墙5788Tong Jun[54]
2009The Innocent Years我们的八十年代Yin Yugang[55]
2009Great Porcelain Merchant大瓷商Tao Jingnan[56]
2009The North Wind Blows北风那个吹Shuai Hongbin[57]
2009The Flying Military Flag军旗飘扬Ma Bayi[58]
2011Shi Fu师傅Xu Feng[59]
2011Yang Liu Qing杨柳青Yang Liuqing[60]
2013The Standing Year而立之年Cao Baiwan[61]
2013Jinan City is our Hometown我们这拨人Yang Ruo[62]
2018Operation Moscow莫斯科行动Chen Yali[63]
2018Mystery of Antiques古董局中局Xu Yuan[64]
2020Mystery of Antiques 2古董局中局2Xu Yuan[65]

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResultRef.
199451st Venice Film FestivalBest ActorIn the Heat of the SunWon[66]
7th Singapore International Film FestivalWon[67]
199623rd Golden Horse AwardsWon[68]
20005th Changchun Film FestivalShadow MagicNominated
13th Tokyo International Film FestivalNominated
200323rd Golden Rooster AwardsThe Law of RomanceWon[69]
200427th Hundred Flowers AwardNominated
20057th Changchun Film FestivalElectric ShadowsNominated
12th Beijing College Student Film FestivalWaiting AloneWon[70]
10th Golden Phoenix AwardsSociety AwardWon[71]
200613th Beijing College Student Film FestivalMost Popular ActorShanghai RumbaWon[72]
20091st Macau International Movie FestivalBest ActorLife of SentimeNominated
201633rd Hundred Flowers AwardBest Supporting ActorMojin: The Lost LegendNominated
201824th Huading AwardsBest ActorOperation MoscowNominated[73]
2019 6th The Actors of China Award Ceremony Best Actor (Web series) Mystery of Antiques Nominated [74]
26th Huading Awards Best Actor (Modern drama) Nominated [75]


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  38. "夏雨《鬼吹灯》以大金牙形象突破性演出". Sina (in Chinese). August 8, 2014.
  39. "《洛杉矶捣蛋计划》夏雨决战捣蛋鬼". Sina (in Chinese). March 8, 2016.
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